Eurostar + Fyra and Eurostar + Thalys

Eurostar + Fyra and Eurostar + Thalys : Goodbye Any Dutch Station, hello Fyra: Dutch high-speed railway launches new trains to speed up London to Amsterdam connection.

– Please note that the Fyra option (details below) is currently suspended and not due to resume operation until summer 2013. Meanwhile, an interim InterCity service will link Brussels with Den Haag from 8th February 2013 and passengers for Amsterdam may continue by local train. Sadly this will not mean a renaissance of the Any Dutch Station through fares from London. Thalys high-speed train services will continue to operate. When you search via Loco2 we will show you current availability for London to Amsterdam trains on your given dates. –

Travelling from London to Amsterdam by train is a popular choice, with many people taking advantage of short journey times, comfortable trains and cheap tickets offered by the Any Dutch Station fare. Sadly, the arrival of the winter timetable in 2012 marks the end of the infamous Any Dutch Station ticket. It also means it won’t be as easy to turn up and book a cheap seat from Brussels on to Amsterdam or Rotterdam, but instead you’ll need to book in advance to avoid very steep fares. While you could hop on board InterCity trains, the new high-speed trains require a seat reservation (which is included in the cost of our ticket). At the moment there is also no direct connection to Den Haag (The Hague) as used to be the case, so you’ll need to change at Amsterdam or Rotterdam for your onward connection.

From December 9th 2012 the Any Dutch Station will be replaced by a new service from Dutch high-speed railway, FYRA. It promises to offer more trains and faster travel times between Brussels and Amsterdam, making journey times between London and Amsterdam an impressive 4 hours 40mins.

As we wave goodbye to one of our most popular tickets, we take a look at your options for travelling from London to Amsterdam by train.
Eurostar + InterCity train to Any Dutch Station…

Currently the ‘Any Dutch station‘ fare, which combines a Eurostar with an InterCity train, is the most flexible way to get to anywhere in the Netherlands by train. Though slower than the Thalys high-speed train, you can take any train within 24 hours of reaching Brussels, with no seat reservation required. However, after 8th December 2012, InterCity trains, and thus the Any Dutch Station ticket, will be no more. You can still book your Any Dutch Station ticket on Loco2 until then, after which we will remove the facility.
Eurostar + Thalys

The Thalys is the current high-speed train between Brussels and Amsterdam. There are frequent departures (6-8 departures daily) from the Belgian capital’s main station, Brussels-Midi, which is also home to Eurostar. It’s a short walk between platforms at Brussels-Midi.

How long does it take? The journey from Brussels to Amsterdam on board the Thalys takes just 1 hour 49 minutes, making the entire journey from London to Amsterdam around 4 hours 40 mins depending on the connections you choose. The transfer from Eurostar to Thalys allows around 30mins for your connection.

How much does it cost? The cheapest train ticket available via Loco2 for this journey is £65 one-way. This combines the cheapest Eurostar ticket (£39) from London to Brussels and a single Thalys fare from Brussels to Amsterdam (£26). Seat reservation are compulsory for Thalys and are included in the price when you book on Loco2. There are plans to introduce combined Eurostar and Thalys fares that can be booked online but we haven’t got confirmed prices for these yet.

Delivery options: Print at home (e-tickets) are available for all passengers on the Eurostar/Thalys. Postal tickets are available to addresses in the UK.

Use the search widget below to look at the current options for travel by train from London to Amsterdam:

What’s the Thalys train from London to Amsterdam like?

There are two options for accommodation aboard the Thalys, comfort 1 class and comfort 2, equivalent to 2nd class. The seats are relatively similar, and there are plug sockets and WiFi available throughout. The main difference is the fact that Wifi, meals and newspapers are included in Comfort 1, while in Comfort 2 you’ll need to head to the buffet car for snacks, papers or to purchase Wi-Fi credit. Bikes may be carried as 1 of your 3 permitted baggage items in a bike bag measuring no larger than 120cm at its longest dimension. Pets including guide dogs can go free although dogs must be muzzled and small animals must travel in a designated pet carrier.

You can view the Thalys seating plan over on the Thalys site. It’snot possible yet to choose a specific seat on board the Thalys via Loco2 although you can select your desired class of travel.

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Eurostar + Fyra

The new Fyra (derived from the Dutch and French words fier/fière, both meaning ‘proud’) service replaces the Benelux InterCity trains (which used to make up the 2nd part of the Any Dutch station ticket) connection as of December 9th 2012. The new 155mph high-speed trains will link Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam by the end of 2012, cutting journey time by an hour. Fyra currently operates domestic Dutch trains, so the new trains are to be known as Fyra International. There are 9 proposed services a day, meaning that there will be a high-speed departure from Brussels to Amsterdam every hour or so. For the moment Fyra trains run every other hour (with Thalys trains filling the gaps) but we hear there will eventually be hourly services.

How long does it take? The high-speed Fyra train between Brussels and Amsterdam is takes 2 hours and 1 minute. Add 2 hours for the London to Brussels Eurostar portion of the trip and the transfer time and the entire journey clocks in at around 5hrs 30mins. Frustratingly, connections from Eurostar to Fyra have a very very tight or rather long transfer – just a couple of minutes to change platforms or just under and hour depending on when your Eurostar arrives. When you book on Loco2 we will use the conservative transfer time just in case your London – Paris train is delayed.

What is the ticket availability? Tickets are now available to book on Loco2 aboard the Fyra. There had been conflicting information about when the new Fyra services would launch. Our friend Mark Smith, of Seat61, expected prices to be announced and booking due to open on 29th October. Recent information points towards them becoming available on December 9th. At the next timetable change in April 2013, we hope that the Eurostar & Fyra timetables offer a combined ticket for best value fares.

How much does it cost?

The cheapest London – Amsterdam Fyra fares begin at £48 one way when booked through Loco2 and include a compulsory (and automatic) seat reservation. You can book Fyra tickets up to 4 months in advance, just like the Eurostar. At the moment, the Thalys fares are cheaper than the Fyra on Loco2, although still around £15 more expensive than the original through fares on the InterCity which cost £50 one way. The cheapest tickets are limited in availability and are non-refundable and non-changeable. You will pay more for flexible fares, which can be altered and may offer a partial refund ahead of departure.

Delivery options: At the moment, we can only sell Fyra tickets as postal tickets, so we recommend allowing at least 10 days for delivery, or better still booking a Thalys service instead.
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Hidden Europe heard on the grapevine of delays to the launch of the international Fyra service (which perhaps explains the lack of reliable information at the time this post was published), so watch this space. However, we have been informed that the Any Dutch station arrangement between NL and SNCB will not be extended in response to delays. Frustratingly, even though InterCity trains will continue to operate until their replacement is ready, Eurostar have decided to disable Any Dutch Station reservations beyond 8th December to avoid customers being disappointed if the service can’t be fulfilled.

The good news is we anticipate (and have our fingers crossed) that through-fares, akin to the Any Dutch station ticket, will be made available in the not too distant future. Sign up to our newsletter to be among the first to know.
What’s the train like? Fyra’s design

Fyra has been designed by Pininfarina, Italian car designers also employed by the likes of Ferrari, Jaguar and Rolls Royce for their design prowess. There are 2 standards of service, and an at-seat trolley service. As you’d expect from a high-speed service, it’s smooth sailing from city to city aboard the Fyra.
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First and second class aboard the Fyra

There are two options for accommodation on the Fyra, 1st and 2nd class. 1st class has broader seats, a little more leg room, plug sockets and a fold down foot stool. There are no plug sockets in 2nd class, and as yet no Wi-Fi aboard the Fyra. There is a quiet car, in part 1st class and in part 2nd class, where mobile phones, loud music and loud conversation are not permitted. We will update this page should we be able to let you choose your seat. In the meanwhile, you can view the Fyra seating plan over on the Fyra microsite. The luggage allowance aboard the Fyra is up to 3 bags pieces per person which can be stowed at the ends of the carriages or in the spaces above and in between seats. While you can’t book your bike onto the train, you can take it dismantled in a bike bag as one of your permitted pieces of luggage. Small pets go free of charge if transported in a pet carrier and guide dogs go free. Large dogs must be muzzled and you’ll have to pay a fare of €5.80 for the privilege.

If you want to read more about trains to Netherlands, see our Destinations pages, which include guides on taking the train to Amsterdam & Rotterdam.

Eurostar + Fyra and Eurostar + Thalys

Source : loco2.com

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